The industry’s growing interest in telehealth applications, in many ways, epitomizes a “spread the wealth” philosophy for healthcare. That’s the way Kevin Biese, M.D. sees it.
Patients are craving easier and more convenient ways to access healthcare, and would prefer to turn to telehealth instead of a traditional office visit for a number of routine services, says a Harris Pollconducted in conjunction with American Well. Whether it’s a prescription for an antibiotic or a consult for a feverish child in the middle of the night, remote care is gaining traction as 64% of patients now say they are willing to consider a video chat instead of a drive to their primary care provider.
A new study from Harris Poll suggests that the majority of Americans are ready to take the dive into telehealth, and they want to do it via webcam.
The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has been working with an important bi-partisan coalition that has a goal to bring “21st Century Cures” to the United States. In comments submitted earlier this week to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, ATA recommended that Congress take immediate action to improve coverage for telehealth services under Medicare payment innovations in a number of areas from fee-for-services to Accountable Care Organizations to bundled payment programs.
Telepsychiatry, or psychiatric care provided through real-time videoconferencing, is a widely used medium for bringing psychiatric care into locations with limited access to mental health professionals. It allows for a psychiatrist or other mental health professional to see, evaluate, diagnose and treat patients without having to be in the same physical space.
To date, concierge medicine has been largely the domain of physicians, but as cost pressures continue to squeeze hospitals and health systems, it’s only a matter of time before these entities get in the game. Physicians need to get ready.
Days after the FDA issued new draft guidance that may be softer on devices making certain kinds of medical claims, the FTC has reminded companies that it also has regulatory power over health claims and might be stepping up to the plate.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the availability of the draft guidance entitled “General Wellness: Policy for Low Risk Devices.” FDA is issuing this draft guidance to provide clarity to industry and FDA staff on the Center for Devices and Radiological Health’s (CDRH’s) compliance policy for low risk products that promote a healthy lifestyle (general wellness products). This draft guidance is not final nor is it in effect at this time.
Like telemedicine, telepsychiatry relies on technology to bring clinical medicine to patients, rather than the other way around. Patients typically videoconference with doctors using computers or videoconferencing equipment. Telepsychiatric services are growing, and the advantage is that such technology opens access to care, particularly for those in remote areas where there are fewer psychiatrists.